How to Select the Right LPN College near La Junta Colorado
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near La Junta CO. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have many functions that they carry out in the La Junta CO healthcare facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Colorado. Even though they may be responsible for overseeing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves generally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anyplace that you can find patients in need of medical attention is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their daily work functions can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medications
- Setting up IV drips
- Observing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the health facilities or other La Junta CO healthcare providers where LPNs work can additionally limit their job duties within those parameters. Additionally, they can practice in numerous specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN Programs Online
Enrolling in LPN schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing certificate or degree in La Junta CO. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) was $45,030 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,970, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $61,030. Most licensed practical nurses near La Junta CO work full time, although about 1 in 5 worked part time in 2016. Many work nights, weekends, and holidays, because medical care takes place at all hours. They may be required to work shifts of longer than 8 hours. Employment of LPNs is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026. Job prospects should be favorable for LPNs who are willing to work in rural and medically under served areas.
What to Ask LPN Programs
Once you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges near La Junta CO as well as within Colorado and throughout the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near La Junta CO.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Colorado or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Colorado school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local La Junta CO healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the La Junta CO medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby La Junta CO community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near La Junta CO?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near La Junta CO, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
La Junta, Colorado
La Junta is the city that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Otero County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 7,077 at the 2010 United States Census. La Junta is located on the Arkansas River in southeastern Colorado 68 miles east of Pueblo.
La Junta (Spanish for "the junction") was named for the fact it rested at the intersection of the Santa Fe Trail and a pioneer road to Pueblo. The town developed near Bent's Post, a fur trading post of the 19th century.
During World War II, La Junta had an Army Air Force Training Base outside town. An Air Force detachment of the Strategic Air Command remained there until modern flight simulators developed in the 1980s rendered live flight unnecessary for pilot training maneuvers. At least one military aircraft crashed close by during such training maneuvers.
Pick the Right LPN School near La Junta CO
Selecting the right Licensed Practical Nurse school is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in Online Practical Nursing Schools. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LPN in La Junta CO.
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